Artisan Blog

​5 Secret Techniques of Great Interviewers

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20+ years in staffing and recruitment of creative professionals. Over the years we have learned a thing or two that we'd like to share with you. We hope you enjoy the 414th issue of our weekly a.blog.

As an HR professional, you have an array of responsibilities from vetting prospective hires to determining their qualifications and how they will contribute to company culture. At the same time, you are a front-line representative for your company, and must ensure that candidates also get the right first impression.

Here are a few techniques from the fields of sales, psychology, entertainment, and beyond that can help you conduct an unforgettable interview and get a candidate’s job experience started on the strongest possible footing.

Pace and Lead

Psychologists, salespeople, negotiators, and hypnotists build rapport through "mirroring' or mimicking another person’s tone and body language. This invites the candidate's trust. It may also spark some empathy on your part as you relate to that person's experience.

After rapport is established, you can shift your own gestures and speech to move the conversation in a productive direction. If the candidate is nervous, you can invite them to relax and loosen up. If the interview is too rigid and formal, you can inject some light humor or make things more conversational.

Know your Purpose

A good job interview is about more than hearing a prospect recite their resume and go over a list of mundane tasks. You must determine if this person's skills,  personality, values and worldview are compatible with the role you need to fill.

Before the interview, connect with the department’s hiring managers to understand the day-to-day duties of the job, and the purpose these duties serve to the organization, and fits within the team structure. Know the long-term goals that must be hit and what a successful first year would look like. Picture the ideal candidate performing this role to the best of their abilities.

Before you start interviewing prospects, clear up any confusion about what the job really entails with supervisors and stakeholders in your company. Think far beyond the job description.

Pause

“Active listening” means focusing your attention on the candidate when they are speaking and paying attention to the nuances and subtext of what they are saying. Be careful not to rush the process. Feel free to linger or elaborate on any intriguing points or rich topics that arise.

A good way to do this is to take a deliberate pause. A pause adds emphasis to an important point and gives you and the candidate time to interpret what is being said.

When the candidate finishes a thought, wait a few beats before you move on to the next question. This takes some practice, and you'll find that people often give the most revealing insights into themselves when they have finished canned responses by giving them a few more seconds of space to fill.

Find the Why

Business writer Simon Sinek devised "The Golden Circle," an immensely popular and powerful model for determining values. According to Sinek, every individual, group, and business has three layers. The outer layer, the “What,” contains our day-to-day tasks, what we actually do. One layer deeper, we find the "How," our attitudes, practices, and culture. The innermost layer, closest to our hearts, is the "Why." This is where we discover our deepest passions that motivate us.

Avoid getting too caught up in the number of years the candidate worked for a previous employer or the bullet points on their resume. Go deeper. Find core principles, values, and ideas that have stayed consistent throughout their career. If your candidate's "Why" is compatible with your company's "Why," you may have found a much better match than you would if you went by experience and references alone.

Go Off Script

When a waiter drops a tray full of dishes on the floor of a comedy club, a good comedian takes a beat and gets back into his act. A great comedian, however, reacts to the situation, riffs about it with the audience, and comes up with a new joke that's perfect for this particular time and place.

As an art form, conversation is less like rehearsed acting than it is like improvised comedy. It is crucial to "read the room" and adapt to any surprises that may come up.

Every candidate is different, so every interview should be different. Know your facts and the information you want to share. More importantly, be human. Take some notes beforehand, and be willing to throw them out if the conversation goes in an interesting direction that you didn't anticipate.

If you need help hiring and interviewing, contact us to learn more. Have the a.team help build your dream team.

How to Hire Creatives

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

 

Hiring qualified talent for creative roles (digital, marketing, UX or design) is an art unto itself.

In addition to reviewing resumes and looking for specific skills or years of experience, reviewing a portfolio and understanding the nuances in a creative’s work requires a unique talent. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Here are 3 tips to consider when looking to hire creative talent and evaluating portfolios.

1. Concept or Execution

Are you looking for a conceptual creative or one who is more executional? A conceptual talent ideates, pushes the creative boundaries, comes up with new ideas, new campaigns and a way to challenge the status quo. This person may or may not have hands-on skills— as they concept and ideate, someone else may actually sit behind a computer to bring it to life and take it to the finish line.

An executional candidate is someone who is very hands-on still. They know all the design programs well, can take the big picture idea and apply it to a variety of formats and deliverables. They’re able to read between the lines, interpret the big idea and execute it across multiple media and channels.

In some instances, one person can have both strengths—or they may favor one over the other. Who do you need on your team?

2. Your Brand

When looking at a resume and comparing two design talent, both may have similar proficiency with design programs, both may have the same years of experience and both may seem like the ideal candidate…on paper. When reviewing creative talent, a portfolio must accompany the resume, and in many cases it holds more weight than the resume.

When you review portfolio links, you may notice one designer’s aesthetic is bright, colorful, fun and illustrative, while the other candidate is minimalistic and corporate with a clean UI design aesthetic.

Both are beautiful, which aesthetic fits best within your company brand?

3. The Portfolio and to How Navigate it

When reviewing a portfolio, it can be difficult to get the full picture. Designers often work in collaboration with others: art directors, illustrators, copywriters, production artists, developers and many other talented teammates

How can you best tell who was involved in the work you are reviewing?

If the information isn't clearly defined in the sample, ask for clarification to help you get the full picture.

Do you need help hiring creative talent? Connect with us.

One-Two-One Onboarding

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Best Practices for onboarding new hires and making them feel welcome

Working with a Recruiter in Your Job Search — Why it's a Good Decision

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

 


 

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years of creative staffing & recruiting. Over the years we've learned a lot and will share our experiences with you in our 20/20 series: 20 blogs celebrating 20 years of creative recruiting!Enjoy!

In this day of fast-paced applicant tracking systems and online job submission portals, getting feedback about your qualifications, or input on the job is often a challenge. Frankly,  it’s hard to know if anyone has even had a chance to review your submission.

As the automated world of online resume portals has become frustrating for many, you may want to consider working with a recruiter in your job search.

Below are 8 reasons why working with a recruiter is a good idea in your job search:

 

  1. A recruiter is a consultant acting on your behalf. They are as committed to finding you that perfect new role as you are. They are pro-actively advocating for you and thinking of new opportunities.
  2. A recruiter often understands the company culture and processes that would be much harder to find out on your own. Your own research can only go so far. Recruiters often provide details not listed on job descriptions.
  3. A recruiter can negotiate salary and benefits on your behalf, based on the parameters you have shared. They are also knowledgeable about a client or a specific role’s salary range and benefits offering so they can remove the guess work.
  4. When recruiters are engaged on a candidate search, resumes from recruiters go to the top of the pile (assuming your recruiter has a good relationship with the client).
  5. An extra set of professional eyes on your resume or portfolio is incredibly important (especially, when there are employment gaps or just to eliminate those typos). They can consult on needed edits or changes.
  6. A recruiter has access to opportunities not listed on job boards.
  7. Your recruiter can help you prepare for the interview when the time comes.
  8. A recruiter with a great reputation for representing outstanding talent adds value to your brand.

 

Having a recruiter on your team can be the difference between landing the perfect role and sitting home by yourself wishing for that great job. Consider signing up with a recruitment agency who places people in your area of expertise. You’ll be glad you did!

If you are looking for a role in the creative or marketing area, see how Artisan Creative can help.


Interview Questions Every Employer Should Ask

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

 

 

 

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years of creative staffing & recruiting. Over the years we've learned a lot and will share our experiences with you in our 20/20 series:

20 blogs celebrating 20 years of creative recruiting! 

 

Whether you’ve been interviewing candidates for a long time or hiring your first employee, you’ll probably agree that the interview is the most important part of the recruitment process. Therefore it’s critical to ask the right questions.

While our version of the Proust Questionnaire offers a few out of the box questions (designed to see how creative they can be), here are a few tips and questions every interviewer should be asking:

 

  • Tell me about yourself. – This type of open-ended question is a great way to start your interview and put your candidate at ease. It should be easy to talk about yourself! It also gives you an opportunity to witness both confidence and communication skills first hand.

  • Describe a time when something went wrong at work and how you dealt with it. - This question is ideal for learning about how your potential hire will handle the pressures of life and conflict resolution, as well as demonstrating problem solving skills and culture fit.

  • How would others describe you? – This is a great way to ask the “strengths” and “weaknesses” question without actually asking it. It also provides some insight into how your working relationship with the potential talent might be. Does the answer describe a person that would fit well within your organization?

  • What role do you usually play in a team? - The answer to this question should compliment the previous answer – is the way your coworkers see you the way you actually perform on the team? This question also provides insight on personality and autonomy.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years? – The perfect question for uncovering candidate motivations, answers help determine whether your company and the opportunity presented are a good fit for the interviewee. Will they still be with your team in five years or will they quickly outgrow your department or company? This also provides a good opportunity to see a candidate's drive and how they can grow with the company.

  • Tell me about a favorite project you worked on and why it’s your favorite.Resumes offer a list of responsibilities and accomplishments. Answers to this question should reveal the story behind the bullet points, the passion for the project and the genuine interest for the work. 

  • What does leadership mean to you? This is a good opportunity to learn about the candidate's leadership style, especially for senior roles or when the candidate will be supervising others.  Answers will also provide good insight about candidate's expectation of their supervisors.

  • What questions can I answer for you? - This is the perfect way to “end” an interview as you turn the tables, engaging the talent to then interview you. Not only does it demonstrate your company’s appreciation for open dialogue, but also lets you know whether the potential job seeker is definitely interested. If they answer “no” – then they probably haven't done enough research on the product or company.

Do you have any tips or interview questions to share? Share with us on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter.

Job Interview Questions Designed to Make You Think

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Job interviews can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you really want the job. Your resume and cover letter were good enough to land the interview, but meeting face-to-face (or via Skype or Google Hangouts) is a whole other story. And nowadays, it’s not enough to ask the standard interview questions. In fact, many top companies ask their potential candidates an array of surprising and unfamiliar questions to help get your creative juices flowing and see how you respond on the fly to thinking analytically and developing solutions. It’s a chance for you to loosen up, relax, and show the interviewer the real you.

We’ve put together a list of real-life interview questions from top companies around the world courtesy of Glassdoor and beyond, from companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Intel, and Trader Joe’s. Try practicing answers to questions like these, and see what fun answers you come up with on your own!

  • If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • Choose a city and estimate how many piano tuners operate a business there.
  • If you could be remembered for one sentence, what would it be?
  • Why are manhole covers round?
  • Design an evacuation plan for this building.
  • How many Big Macs does McDonald’s sell each year in the U.S.?
  • 25 racehorses, no stopwatch. 5 tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.
  • How much do you charge to wash every window in Seattle?
  • If I was talking to your best friend, what is the one thing they would you say you need to work on?
  • How many children are born every day?
  • If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?
  • How would you breakdown the cost of this pen?
  • If you have 2 eggs, and you want to figure out what’s the highest floor from which you can drop the egg without breaking it, how would you do it? What’s the optimal solution?
  • How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?
  • Design a spice rack for the blind.
  • What do you think of garden gnomes?
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Image by Meilun.

Artisan Creative is celebrating our 20th year staffing and recruiting Creative, Digital and Marketing roles. Please visit Roles We Place for a complete listing of our expertise.

Click here if you are looking to hire. Click here if you are looking for work.

For information on hiring best practices, interview tips and industry news, please join our social networks on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

How to Enter the World of Recruiting

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

entering-recruiting-jobs

You may not know it yet, however recruitment is a more exciting career than being skydiving instructor or secret agent!  Where else can you impact people’s lives by finding them an impactful opportunity!  Whether it’s a 2-day assignment, or a life changing full time move across country, recruiters are matchmakers between candidates and clients.

Here are just some of the things you’ll need to know when entering the world of recruiting:

Become a detective! You need to listen, search and connect the dots by discovering your client’s need. You then have to find the perfect candidate for that role. Finally, you need to learn how to bring the two together. It’s your responsibility to make sure  the opportunity is right for both the candidate and the client.

Hone your communication skills. You have to speak confidently about a candidate’s skills and background as well as a job or company’s features and benefits. Your writing skills are key in writing job descriptions to capture a company’s needs for that position, while presenting an attractive offer to potential candidates. You also need impeccable writing and presentation skills when highlighting your candidate and their key qualifications.

Ask the right questions. Being naturally inquisitive goes a long way in recruitment. Getting to the heart of what hiring managers are looking for means asking questions about what they really need. Additionally, you need to know what to ask candidates so you can find the one who meets all the requirements or is the best fit.

Listen! Listen to your clients’ needs and candidates’ wants. These have to be in sync with one another.

A positive attitude goes a long way. Know you are making an impact. Recruiters help a company make key hires that impact their culture and their success. They help find the impactful and sometimes life changing opportunities for their candidates. The match may not happen overnight. Don’t be afraid of rejection, and know you are making a difference.

Be passionate! Recruiting is a job where you literally get to impact people’s lives! You could be the missing link between connecting someone to their dream job.

Want to join our team? Talk to us about joining Artisan Creative as a recruiter!

Your Interviewing Style

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two interviews are exactly the same. That being said, there are several archetypes of interviewers. Personality, company culture, and interview style play a big role in how a job interview goes, and there are many things that can contribute to a good or bad interview, such as whether the candidate is prepared, reading body language, and sussing out if they are indeed qualified for the position. But you -- and the candidate -- can help each other have a successful interview by knowing what type of interviewer you are.

The Talkative Interviewer

You’re friendly and warm! You love talking about the company you love working for, and have a lot to say about the position. You may also have a lot to say...in general. Toe the line between gregarious and chatty by keeping your guard up. Let the candidate do more of the talking, and be an active listener. The more they talk, the more you’ll be able to determine if they’re really a good fit for the team.

The Inquisitive Interviewer

You feel that the best way to get to know people is to ask questions. You’re likely to ask a candidate about aspects of their life beyond their career accomplishments or future goals. Some personal questions are fine to ask. For instance, if they made a personal connection to your company’s work in their cover letter, it’s fine to explore this. However, you should never ask any questions that could be construed as inappropriate or make someone feel uncomfortable. If they’re a good fit for the company, you’ll get to know them better later.

The Questioning Interviewer

You like to get down to business. You don’t just ask a lot of questions -- you ask them rapidly and expect the candidate to fire back just as quickly. While you may feel this is an efficient form of interviewing, your candidate may find it a little intimidating. Switch up the pace of the interview and allow them time to formulate thoughtful answers.

The “Follows the Script” Interviewer

You’re fair and objective. You also have a job to do, and that job is to find the best new hire for the team. You have a pre-set list of questions you ask, and you don’t deviate too much from the script. While it may help you keep the candidates straight, be prepared for someone you’re interviewing to talk at length on one subject, or demonstrate passion for a specific achievement. Let the flow of discourse shift when necessary -- you may find that by doing so, you find your next hire faster!

The Busy Interviewer

You have a LOT on your plate. You’re leading the team, taking care of projects, answering emails -- maybe you don’t even really care that much about being a part of the interview process. But the candidate might be nervous, and not feigning interest in the interview can come off as rude. Try to set aside any distractions and listen to them, especially because they could very well be working for you soon.

The Funny Interviewer

You’re a joker. You like to have fun and laugh, and you want a team that does the same. Yet sarcasm or jokes might cross the line. An anxious candidate might not know how to react to your humor, or even share it. Try to focus on their resume, and if you think they’re too serious, then you can make another choice later.

The New Interviewer

You’re fairly new to the company or your team. In fact, this might be the first time you’ve had the responsibility of hiring someone! But being new means you don’t have the same level of experience as other folks. Prepare in advance of the interview. Have a list of questions ready and their resume printed out for reference. Think of what questions they may ask you about the job or company, and have replies ready for them.

Are you looking for talent at your company? Tell us what you’re looking for so we can help!

Tips for Working With Recruiters To Find You a Great Job

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Recruiters are here to support your job search, but it’s like they say in Jerry Maguire: “Help me, help you.” Here are some tips on how to work with recruiters so they can help you find the perfect role:

Recruiters have a good insight into a company’s open roles.  Recruiters are a great source of knowledge about openings in the industry.  They also have specific insight into what a hiring manager is looking for, so if you aren’t considered for a role, it’s because you’re not the best fit according to the hiring company’s needs.

Include an intro letter. A short email introduction highlighting your skills, leadership qualities and why you’re interested in the position is a good way to get yourself noticed. If you have a website or online creative portfolio, include the link.

Apply to local jobs. If a job posting includes the phrase “local candidates only” or something similar, the company needs an employee to start immediately or will not pay for relocation. Look for local jobs or wait to relocate before applying -- otherwise it will be a challenge for a recruiter to convince the hiring company you’re a great candidate.

Find positive spins for unemployment. If you’re currently unemployed, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it’s always better if you can fill in the gaps.  Use your time to try consulting, working on freelance projects, taking a class, starting a blog, volunteering for a cause or organization you’re passionate about. Alternately, create samples for the types of jobs you want (like copywriting samples or mockups of websites).

Make it easy to find you. Let’s say you’re not the right candidate for a particular job, however you want to have your profile discoverable by future employers. Create a website or creative portfolio, social profile and samples so your recruiter can better promote your skills.

Trust the recruiter. Don’t contact the employer directly -- that’s why they hired a recruiter in the first place! Trust that they’re doing everything they can to put you in that great position. Moreover, recruiters are experienced, so if they advise something like fixes on your resume or an improved online portfolio it’s likely your chances of landing a great gig will increase!

Build a relationship. Even if a recruiter isn’t able to place you immediately or your find an ideal job on your own, maintain the relationship and check in on occasion. You never know when you can use their services again--either as a candidate or as a hiring manager.

Recruiters are invested in your success. As long as you know what you want and how you best fit into a job, then it’ll be easier for a recruiter to assist you. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a new job!

How Interviewers Can Find the Best Candidates During the Interview Process

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

best-candidates-interviews

One of the big responsibilities of recruiters is helping our amazing prospective candidates prepare for interviews. We’ve sent hundreds of wonderful candidates out on thousands of interviews, and we have to say, we’re experts on what helps make a great interview. If you’re in charge of hiring, the following tips on conducting an interview can be of benefit to find the perfect candidate for your company:

Prepare your questions in advance. Whatever the position, make sure you know ahead of time what you’re going to ask them. How would you best describe the role’s day-to-day needs? How will you review the team structure, reporting structure and company culture and values?

Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions that start with “why” or “how” to allow candidates to put into their own words what they think or feel. For instance, “How did you handle a crisis?” or “Why is a strong team environment important to you” will let them tell their story. Therefore, you’ll get to know them better!

Hone in your listening skills. This might seem obvious, but active listening is absolutely necessary to getting all the info you need. Pay attention to more than their words. What does their body language and tone say? You can learn a lot about whether you think a candidate is truly a good fit or if you think they’re just saying what they think you want to hear.

Keep it positive. Even if the role is challenging, or the company is in a transitional stage, it’s best to upfront yet keep the tone of the interview positive and informative.

Don’t let time slip away. Always leave time during an interview so the candidate can ask questions about the role and company. You’ll be able to find out what’s important just by giving them the opportunity to ask.

Know what comes next. If an interview goes well, let them know! Tell them about the current interview process and how it’s going, as well as whether you need to set up a second interview with other hiring managers or team members. They could be entertaining multiple offers, but if they know you’re interested, it could seal the deal.

Remember -- a good recruiter can help you find the perfect candidates to interview, and a good interviewer can assess who’s the right candidate for the job, but a great hire can truly make a successful team thrive!


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